Artworks Catalogue

 Wiesensteig, St Cyriacus, The Glory of St John Nepomuceno, 1739
Wiesensteig, St Cyriacus, The Glory of St John Nepomuceno, 1739, backside
Inscription by Johann Baptist Straub on the inner side of the pedestal,
Backside of the sculptural group, detail with missing wing of the angel
Backside of the sculptural group, detail with added cloud

Location

Germany, Baden-Württemberg, Wiesensteig

Parish and former Collegiate Church St Cyriacus

Artwork

The Glory of St John Nepomuceno in the Parish Church St Cyriacus of Wiesensteig

Type

Sculptural group

Dimensions

Height: 100 cm, width: 45 cm, depth: 20 cm

Inscriptions

  1. Johannes straub Hat dises/bild gemacht anno 1739./den 4 Januarij (on the inner side of the pedestal); Engl. transl.: Johannes straub made this / image in the year 1739 / on the 4th of January)

Critical History

The sculptural group is situated on the predella of the Altar of St Joseph, on the right side of the nave. It is signed and dated with graphite pencil on the inner side of the pedestal by Johann Baptist Straub (1739, ins.1).1 According to the chronicles of the parish, in 1775 the elderly sculptor was commissioned with the new interior of the collegiate church St. Cyriacus in his hometown Wiesensteig.2 He designed the side altars, which were mainly executed by his assistant Joseph Streiter until 1780. It is obviously that Straub reused the John Nepomuceno group – an earlier artwork – for the new setting in 1775. Probably the group with pedestal was a bozzetto (a study) for a monument or a fountain. It's original location and ownership is unknown. After Straub's sketches Streiter carved a matching group for the opposite side altar, on the left side of the nave.3 The gilding and polychromy were added by Kandl of Ludwigsburg.4 Regarding to Peter Volk the composition of the Glory of St. John Nepomuceno is very close to Straub's groups on the canopies of the pulpits in Laxenburg (1730-34) and Dießen (1738-40).5

Construction / Execution

The finely carved sculptural group is mounted on a pedestal made of softwood. The sculptor explicitly elaborated front and backside of the figures. On the backside, the circumferential profiles of the pedestal have been chipped off to adapt it for the new location on the predella of the altar. The now visible front is gilded, the backside painted yellow.6

There is a gap on the right side of the figural group, right under Saint John. It marks the former position of a now missing element, probably a second angel. It was replaced by a cloud later on. Visible woodworm perforations (non-active) may explain the losses. Also lost are one wing of the angel (the tongue and groove joint is still visible), most fingers of St. John's left hand, except the thumb, and one middle finger of the right hand.

Components

Sculpture
The Glory of St. John Nepomuceno
Author: Johann Baptist Straub (Wiesensteig ca. 1704 – Munich 1784)
Completed: 1739
Technique(s): carved wood, sawed wood
Material(s): wood
Polychromy
Polychromy
Completed: ca. 1775 – ca. 1780
Technique(s): oil gilding
Material(s): gold leaf

Images

  1. Wiesensteig, St Cyriacus, The Glory of St John Nepomuceno, 1739
  2. Wiesensteig, St Cyriacus, The Glory of St John Nepomuceno, 1739, backside
  3. Inscription by Johann Baptist Straub on the inner side of the pedestal,
  4. Backside of the sculptural group, detail with missing wing of the angel
  5. Backside of the sculptural group, detail with added cloud

Catalogue entry prepared by Rupert Karbacher, Andreas Müller, Judith Schekulin and Julia Strobl

Recommended citation: Rupert Karbacher, Andreas Müller, Judith Schekulin and Julia Strobl, The Glory of St John Nepomuceno in the Parish Church St Cyriacus of Wiesensteig, in: TrArS – Tracing the Art of the Straub Family, 2018, (accessed 25/05/2018) URL

Sources and Bibliography

  1. Archive of the Parish Wiesensteig, Johann Philipp von Göttler, Chronik der Pfarrei Wiesensteig (Chronicle of the parish Wiesensteig), 1811
  2. Carola Giedion-Welcker, Bayerische Rokokoplastik, J. B. Straub und seine Stellung in Landschaft und Zeit, München, O. C. Recht Verlag, 1922, 22f.
  3. Rüdiger Klessmann, Zum Spätwerk des Johann Baptist Straub und zur Ausstattung der Stiftskirche in Wiesensteig, in: Festschrift für Peter Metz, Ursula Schlegel, Claus Zoege von Manteuffel (ed.), Berlin, De Gruyter, 1965, 379–387
  4. Peter Steiner, Johann Baptist Straub (Münchner kunsthistorische Abhandlungen, VI), München und Zürich, Verlag Schnell & Steiner, 1974
  5. Eva Zimmermann, Hl. Johann von Nepomuk (cat. B 72), in: Barock in Baden-Württemberg. Vom Ende d. Dreißigjährigen Krieges bis zur Französischen Revolution (exhibition catalogue, Karlsruhe, Schloss Bruchsal, 1981), vol. 2. catalogue, Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg (ed.), Karlsruhe, C. F. Müller, 1981, 233–234
  6. Peter Volk, Rokokoplastik in Altbayern, Bayrisch-Schwaben und Allgäu, Munich, Hirmerverlag, 1981
  7. Peter Volk, Johann Baptist Straub (1704–1784), in: Hofbildhauer Johann Baptist Straub 1704–1784. Franz Xaver Messerschmidt 1736–1783. Bildhauer aus Wiesensteig (Veröffentlichungen des Kreisarchivs Göppingen, 10), Walter Ziegler (ed.), Weißenkorn, Anton Konrad Verlag, 1984, 7–23
  8. Peter Volk, Johann Baptist Straub 1704–1784, München, Hirmer Verlag, 1984
  9. Dagmar Zimdars et al., Dehio-Handbuch. Baden-Württemberg I. Die Regierungsbezirke Stuttgart und Karlsruhe, Berlin, Deutscher Kunstverlag, 1993

Notes

1 The inscription was mentioned by Giedion-Welcker, 1922, p. 21. Volk was the first to publish a depiction, Volk, 1981, p. 27, fig. 20; Volk, Bildhauer aus Wiesensteig, 1984, p. 26. - It is probably the only artwork signed and dated by the sculptor. The inscription on the Mater Dolorosa in St. Wolfgang, Dorfen from 1777 is not an authograph of Straub as recently discovered by R. Karbacher, BLfD. Klessmann, 1965, p. 379; Steiner, 1974, p. 110; Volk 1984, p. 10.

2 Göttler, Chronicle, 1811 (cit. Volk, 1984, p. 205): "Überhaupts genügt das Langhaus der Kirche vom möglichst besten Geschmack, und ward die Renovation um's Jahr 1775 angefangen. Der kurfürstlich bayerische Hofbildhauer Johann Straub in München, ein gebohrner Wiesenstaiger, lieferte den herrlichen Christus am Kreuzaltar und leitete altershalber bloß durch eingesandte Zeichnungen die übrige Bildhauer-Arbeit, welche sein bester Geselle, Josef Streiter von Schwatz in Tyrol, verfertigte. Die Altar Blätter der drey Altäre Trium Regum, S. Michaelis et S. Josephi sind von Christian Winckler Pictor aulicus Monachii 1780 oder 85. Die Plafonds mahlte Hueber von Weisenhorn. Fasmaler und Vergolder war Kandl von Ludwigsburg, Stuccator Sauer von Stuttgart."

3 The group was replaced by a statue of St. Cyriacus. The whereabouts of St. Aloysius are currently unknown. An inventory from 1975 mentions a sculpture: "Himmelfahrt des hl. Aloysius mit Putte und Engel" in the parish, height without pedestal 60 cm (Information by courtesy of  Christine Bozler-Kießling, Kunstinventarisierung, Diözesanmuseum Rottenburg). In 1984 it was in Wiesensteig, Volk, 1984, p. 25, fig. 20. It is not mentioned in Dehio, 1992, p. 857.

4 Göttler, Chronicles, 1811, op. cit.

5 Volk, Bildhauer aus Wiesensteig, 1984, p. 28.

6 Zimmermann, 1981, p. 233-234.